Yufu Jia, Zongguang Liu, Lei Zhou, Xiaojuan Liu, Keping Ma and Xiaojuan Feng*. 2022. Soil organic carbon sourcing variance in the rhizosphere vs. non-rhizosphere of two mycorrhiza...

In publications, Publications, Mar 04, 2018


Pascale Zumstein*, Helge Bruelheide, Andreas Fichtner, Andreas Schuldt, Michael Staab, Werner Hardtle, Hongzhang Zhou, and Thorsten Assmann. 2021. What shapes ground beetle assemb...

In publications, Publications, Mar 03, 2018


Philipp Goebes, Karsten Schmidt, Steffen Seitz*, Sabine Both, Helge Bruelheide, Alexandra Erfmeier, Thomas Scholten and Peter Kühn. 2019. The strength of soil-plant interactions u...

In publications, Publications, Feb 03, 2018


Julia Binkenstein*†, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Thorsten Assmann, François Buscot, Alexandra Erfmeier, Keping Ma, Katherina A. Pietsch, Karsten Schmidt, Thomas Scholten, Tesfaye Wubet...

In publications, Publications, Jan 02, 2018


Matteo Brezzi*, Bernhard Schmid, Pascal A. Niklaus and Andreas Schuldt. 2017. Tree diversity increases levels of herbivore damage in a subtropical forest canopy: evidence for diet...

In publications, Publications, Jan 02, 2017


Nadia Castro-Izaguirre*, Xiulian Chi, Martin Baruffol, Zhiyao Tang, Keping Ma, Bernhard Schmid and Pascal A Niklaus*. 2016. Tree Diversity Enhances Stand Carbon Storage but No...

In publications, Publications, Jan 02, 2016


David Eichenberg*, Oliver Purschke, Christian Ristok, Ludger Wessjohann and Helge Bruelheide. 2015. Trade-offs between physical and chemical carbon-based leaf defence: of intraspe...

In publications, Publications, May 02, 2010


Martin Böhnke, Wenzel Kröber, Erik Welk, Christian Wirth and Helge Bruelheide*. 2014. Maintenance of constant functional diversity during secondary succession of a subtropical for...

In publications, Publications, Apr 02, 2010


Martin Barrufol, Bernhard Schmid, Helge Bruelheide, Xiulian Chi, Andrew Hector, Keping Ma, Stefan Michalski, Zhiyao Tang and Pascal A. Niklaus*. 2013. Biodiversity Promotes Tree G...

In publications, Publications, Mar 02, 2010


Dörte Bachmann*, Sabine Both, Helge Bruelheide, Bingyang Ding, Mo Gao, Werner Härdtle, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen and Alexandra Erfmeier. 2012. Functional trait similarity of native...

In publications, Publications, Feb 02, 2010


Sabine Both*, Teng Fang, Martin Böhnke, Helge Bruelheide, Christian Geißler, Peter Kühn, Thomas Scholten, Stefan Trogisch and Alexandra Erfmeier. 2011. Lack of tree layer control ...

In publications, Publications, Jan 24, 2010


Christian Geißler*, Peter Kühn, Xuezheng Shi and Thomas Scholten. 2010. Estimation of throughfall erosivity in a highly diverse forest ecosystem using sand-filled splash cups. Jou...

In publications, Publications, Jan 02, 2010



薛玉洁, 程安鹏, 李珊, 刘晓娟, 李景文*. 2022. 亚热带森林中环境和物种多样性对灌木存活率的影响. 生物多样性. Online. https://doi.org/10.17520/biods.2022443.Xiaojuan Liu, Yuanyuan Huang, Lei Chen, Shan Li, Franca J. Bongers, N...

In publications, Publications, Mar 04, 2018


Florian Schnabel*†, Xiaojuan Liu*†, Matthias Kunz*, Kathryn E. Barry, Franca J. Bongers, Helge Bruelheide, Andreas Fichtner, Werner Härdtle, Shan Li, Claas-Thido Pfaff, Be...

In publications, Publications, Mar 03, 2018


Franca J. Bongers. 2020. Functional-structural plant models to boost understanding of complementarity in light capture and use in mixed-species forests. Basic and Applied Ecology. 48:...

In publications, Publications, Mar 01, 2018


Helge Bruelheide*, Yuxin Chen, Yuanyuan Huang, Keping Ma*, Pascal A. Niklaus* and Bernhard Schmid*. 2019. Response to Comment on “Impacts of species richness on produc...

In publications, Publications, Feb 01, 2018


Huanxi Cao, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Chaodong Zhu, Michael Staab, Walter Durka, Markus Fischer and Felix Fornoff*. 2018. Intra- and interspecific tree diversity promotes multitrophi...

In publications, Publications, Jan 01, 2018


Wensheng Bu, Bernhard Schmid, Xiaojuan Liu, Ying Li, Werner Haerdtle, Goddert von Oheimb, Yu Liang, Zhenkai Sun, Yuanyuan Huang, Helge Bruelheide and Keping Ma*. 2017. Interspecif...

In publications, Publications, Jan 01, 2017


Uwe Braun*, Lydia Hönig and Rowena Schwaß. 2016. New records of foliicolous micromycetes from the Chinese Jiangxi Province. Schlechtendalia. 30:1-7. Download

In publications, Publications, Jan 01, 2016


Uwe Braun*, Steffen Bien, Lydia Hönig and Bettina Heuchert. 2015. Periconiella liquidambaricola sp nov - a new Chinese hyphomycete. Mycotaxon. 130:253-258. https://doi.org/10.5248...

In publications, Publications, May 01, 2010


Uwe Braun*, Steffen Bien, Lydia Hantsch and Bettina Heuchert. 2014. Tubakia chinensis sp. nov. and a key to the species of the genus Tubakia. Schlechtendalia. 28:23-28. Download

In publications, Publications, Apr 01, 2010


Yinlei Ma, Yan Geng, Yuanyuan Huang, Yue Shi, Pascal A. Niklaus, Bernhard Schmid and Jinsheng He*. 2013. Effect of clear-cutting silviculture on soil respiration in a subtropical ...

In publications, Publications, Mar 01, 2010


Sabine Both*, Teng Fang, Martin Baruffol, Bernhard Schmid, Helge Bruelheide and Alexandra Erfmeier. 2012. Effects of tree sapling diversity and nutrient addition on herb-layer inv...

In publications, Publications, Feb 01, 2010


Helge Bruelheide*, Martin Böhnke, Sabine Both, Teng Fang, Thorsten Assmann, Martin Baruffol, Jürgen Bauhus, François Buscot, Xiaoyong Chen, Bingyang Ding, Walter Durka, Alexandra ...

In publications, Publications, Jan 23, 2010


Ongoing projects

If you wish to apply for a new project in BEF-China, please download the application form.

In projects, Publications, Jan 15, 2018

Species richness, functional traits and climate interactively affect tree survival in a large forest biodiversity experiment

Tree survival affects forest biodiversity, structure and functioning. However, little is known about feedback effects of biodiversity on survival and its dependence on functional trai...

In Paper, Aug 18, 2022

Effects of enemy exclusion on biodiversity–productivity relationships in a subtropical forest experiment

Interspecific niche complementarity is a key mechanism posited to explain positive species richness–productivity relationships in plant communities. However, the exact nature of the n...

In Paper, Jun 02, 2022

Plants play stronger effects on soil fungal than bacterial communities and co-occurrence network structures in a subtropical tree diversity experiment

Increasing biodiversity loss profoundly affects community structure and ecosystem functioning. Therefore, revealing the mechanisms associated with community assembly and co-occurrence...

In Paper, Jun 01, 2022

Neighbourhood Species Richness Reduces Crown Asymmetry of Subtropical Trees in Sloping Terrain

Reforestation in sloping terrain is an important measure for soil erosion control and sustainable watershed management. The mechanical stability of such reforested stands, however, ca...

In Paper, Mar 16, 2022

Niche partitioning in nitrogen uptake among subtropical tree species enhances biomass production

The relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning has become one of the key topics in ecological studies. Niche partitioning, brought about by a complementary resourc...

In Paper, Mar 07, 2022

Planting new forests with high functional diversity helps improve productivity

As forests age, differences in species functional traits become more important and reliable in predicting forest productivity, according to an international study led by Prof. MA Kepi...

In Paper, Nov 08, 2021

Special issue: Tree Diversity Effects on Ecosystem Functioning

Although the exceptional role of forests for human well-being is undisputed and widely acknowledged (Watson et al. 2018), a global downward trend in the global forest area persists (F...

In news, Sep 04, 2021

Understanding biodiversity in forests

The Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Botany has led pioneering work on forests biodiversity and the associated nature-based services that support societies.

In news, Sep 01, 2021

Phylogenetic relatedness, functional traits, and spatial scale determine herbivore co‐occurrence in a subtropical forest

Species co-occurrence can examine whether and why two or more species co-exist. However, the understanding of the relevant mechanism remains a challenging. Previous studies have sugge...

In Paper, Aug 10, 2021

Tree species richness differentially affects the chemical composition of leaves, roots and root exudates in four subtropical tree species.

Plants produce thousands of compounds, collectively called the metabolome, which mediate interactions with other organisms. The metabolome of an individual plant may change according ...

In Paper, Aug 09, 2021

Tree diversity and functional leaf traits drive herbivore-associated microbiomes in subtropical China.

Herbivorous insects acquire microorganisms from host plants or soil, but it remains unclear how the diversity and functional composition of host plants contribute to structuring herbi...

In Paper, Aug 08, 2021

What shapes ground beetle assemblages in a tree species-rich subtropical forest?

As woody plants provide much of the trophic basis for food webs in forests their species richness, but also stand age and numerous further variables such as vegetation structure, soil...

In Paper, Aug 07, 2021

Soil fungi promote biodiversity–productivity relationships in experimental communities of young trees

Soil fungi are a major factor maintaining plant diversity and productivity, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. Based on a biodiversity–ecosystem functioning ex...

In Paper, Aug 06, 2021

Plant and microbial pathways driving plant diversity effects on soil carbon accumulation in subtropical forest

Plant species richness (PSR) is known to affect soil organic carbon (SOC) storage. However, due to the complex origin and composition of SOC, mechanisms driving the PSR-SOC relationsh...

In Paper, Aug 05, 2021

The significance of tree-tree interactions for forest ecosystem functioning

Global change exposes forest ecosystems to many risks including novel climatic conditions, increased frequency of climatic extremes and sudden emergence and spread of pests and pathog...

In Paper, Aug 04, 2021

Tree diversity and soil chemical properties drive the linkages between soil microbial community and ecosystem functioning

Microbial respiration is critical for soil carbon balance and ecosystem functioning. Previous studies suggest that plant diversity influences soil microbial communities and their resp...

In Paper, Aug 03, 2021

Tree mycorrhizal type and tree diversity shape the forest soil microbiota

There is limited knowledge on how the association of trees with different mycorrhizal types shapes soil microbial communities in the context of changing tree diversity levels. We used...

In Paper, Aug 03, 2021

Tree species richness promotes an early increase of stand structural complexity in young subtropical plantations

Forest structural complexity has been identified as an important driver for promoting simultaneously biodiversity across trophic levels and multiple ecosystem services. However, we st...

In Paper, Aug 02, 2021

More diverse tree communities promote foliar fungal pathogen diversity, but decrease infestation rates per tree species, in a subtropical biodiversity experiment

Fungal pathogens have the potential to affect plant biogeography and ecosystem processes through their influence on the fitness and functioning of their plant hosts. Simultaneously, c...

In Paper, Aug 01, 2021

Local Tree Diversity Suppresses Foliar Fungal Infestation and Decreases Morphological but Not Molecular Richness in a Young Subtropical Forest

Leaf fungal pathogens alter their host species’ performance and, thus, changes in fungal species composition can translate into effects at the tree community scale. Conversely, the fu...

In Paper, Jul 31, 2021

Species identity and composition effects on community productivity in a subtropical forest

Biodiversity experiments have shown that high species richness increases productivity in forests. However, forests are diverse regarding community composition. It is unclear how speci...

In Paper, Mar 22, 2021

Drivers of understorey biomass: tree species identity is more important than richness in a young forest

Aims Positive biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships have been widely reported, predominately from grassland ecosystems. However, this does not necessarily have to apply acc...

In Paper, Mar 07, 2021

Canopy Closure Retards Fine Wood Decomposition in Subtropical Regenerating Forests

Wood decomposition is faster in open habitats than closed-canopy forests, with the mechanisms unclear. When allowing access, termites outcompete fungi during wood decomposition. If in...

In Paper, Mar 06, 2021

Plant identity strongly structures the root-associated fungal community in a diverse subtropical forest

Revealing the relationship between plants and root-associated fungi is very important in understanding diversity maintenance and community assembly in ecosystems. However, the communi...

In Paper, Mar 05, 2021

Radial growth response of trees to seasonal soil humidity in a subtropical forest

Tree growth is the most important factor in determining the carbon sequestration processes of forest ecosystems. However,the growth phenology (seasonal growth pattern) and responses o...

In Paper, Mar 04, 2021

Tree diversity promotes predatory wasps and parasitoids but not pollinator bees in a subtropical experimental forest

From regional to global scales, anthropogenic environmental change is causing biodiversity loss and reducing ecosystem functionality. Previous studies have investigated the relationsh...

In Paper, Mar 03, 2021

Tree-tree interactions and crown complementarity: The role of functional diversity and branch traits for canopy packing

Previous studies have shown that tree species richness increases forest productivity by allowing for greater spatial complementarity of tree crowns (crown complementarity), which in t...

In Paper, Feb 15, 2021

Tree species richness modulates water supply in the local tree neighbourhood: evidence from wood δ13C signatures in a large-scale forest experiment

Biodiversity is considered to mitigate the adverse effects of changing precipitation patterns. However, our understanding of how tree diversity at the local neighbourhood scale modula...

In Paper, Feb 05, 2021

9 PhD positions in forest biodiversity research within the International Research Training Group TreeDì (GRK 2324)

The International Research Training Group “TreeDì – Tree Diversity Interactions: The role of tree-tree interactions in local neighborhoods in Chinese subtropical forests” (GRK 2324), ...

In News, Jan 12, 2021

Host functional and phylogenetic composition rather than host diversity structure plant-herbivore networks

Plant-herbivore interactions is a key ecological process in ecosystem functioning and is usually altered by global environmental change, especially plant diversity. Previous study mos...

In Paper, Jun 22, 2020

Genetic richness affects trait variation but not community productivity in a tree diversity experiment

We argue that identifying functional diversity within and among species in forest communities is necessary to separate effects of species and genetic diversity on tree growth and comm...

In Paper, Apr 09, 2020

Neighbourhood diversity mitigates drought impacts on tree growth

Abstract: Biodiversity is considered to mitigate detrimental impacts of climate change on the functioning of forest ecosystems, such as drought‐induced decline in forest productivity...

In Paper, Jan 13, 2020

Growth-trait relationships depend on species richness in subtropical forest

The Editor’s Choice article for Volume 108 Issue 1 is “Growth–trait relationships in subtropical forest are stronger at higher diversity“ by Bongers et al. This study assessed how gro...

In Paper, Jan 06, 2020

Neighbour species richness and local structural variability modulate aboveground allocation patterns and crown morphology of individual trees

Abstract:Local neighbourhood interactions are considered a main driver for biodiversity–productivity relationships in forests. Yet, the structural responses of individual trees in spe...

In Paper, Oct 17, 2019

Herbivore phylogenetic diversity can be affected by plant diversity loss

Global change leads to increasing biodiversity loss, usually with consequences for the structure and functioning of ecosystems, such as primary productivity and nutrient cycling.

In Paper, Aug 24, 2019

Multiple plant diversity components drive consumer communities across ecosystems

Abstract:Humans modify ecosystems and biodiversity worldwide, with negative consequences for ecosystem functioning. Promoting plant diversity is increasingly suggested as a mitigation...

In Paper, Mar 29, 2019

Tree diversity increases robustness of multi-trophic interactions

Abstract:Multi-trophic interactions maintain critical ecosystem functions. Biodiversity is declining globally, while responses of trophic interactions to biodiversity change are large...

In Paper, Mar 06, 2019

Species-rich forests store twice as much carbon as monocultures

Species-rich subtropical forests can take up on average twice as much carbon as monocultures. An international research team with the involvement of the University of Zurich has evalu...

In Paper, Oct 25, 2018

Species-rich forests better compensate environmental impacts

To offset CO2 emissions, China is reforesting. If a mixture of tree species instead of monocultures were planted, much more carbon could be stored. An international team including UZH...

In Paper, Aug 22, 2018

Neighbourhood interactions drive overyielding in mixed-species tree communities

Abstract:Theory suggests that plant interactions at the neighbourhood scale play a fundamental role in regulating biodiversity–productivity relationships (BPRs) in tree communities. H...

In Paper, Mar 20, 2018


Directed species loss from species-rich forests strongly decreases productivity

At high species richness, directed loss, but not random loss, of tree species strongly decreases forest productivity. An international research team with the involvement of the Univer...

In Paper, Mar 12, 2020